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Electrical Safety and Your Kids

GFCI outlet

Raising children can be a challenging and rewarding experience as those of us who are parents can attest to. 

Sometimes the challenge can be getting them to adulthood alive and many of you know what I am talking about.  Take the kid who is always outsmarting his parents from a young age.  The parents think they have their house kid proofed adequately but this kid thinks up new ways to hurt himself.  When it comes to electricity and kids however, there really is very little margin for error.  Child proofing electrical outlets and electrical devices is crucial to their survival (your children not the electrical devices!)

One thing I have learned is if you get down to their level and look around, you will gain a different perspective on what they see and can get into.  For instance, if you have a crawler, crawl around your house and you will begin to notice things that you wouldn't see while standing up and walking around.  Electrical cords and exposed electrical outlets are two of the biggest dangers for little ones.  To keep little fingers out of electrical outlets, there are several options from the simple to the complex and many in between.  Most kids leave the outlets alone with the simple outlet protectors.


But some kids know how to pick those plugs out of the outlet with their little fingers and they can do it quite quickly.  No sooner have you turned your head than they have it out of the outlet and are ready to stick something else in there.  In that case, there are more complicated options that aren't as easy for little ones to figure out.

These outlet covers go on over your outlet instead of your usual outlet plate.  When you want to plug something in you have to slide the cover over in order to do so.  These are a little bit harder for little kids to figure out.


Another hazard I mentioned above is electrical cords.  Frayed cords present obvious hazards and you should repair a frayed cord immediately.  A small child could get a huge jolt from grabbing a frayed or damaged electrical cord.


Your bathrooms and kitchen should be equipped with GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets which are now code in areas where there could be water present.  If you don't have GFCI outlets, you should call Peter to have them installed.  GCFI outlets save lives as they are designed to shut off the electrical current to that outlet if there is an overload.  This is especially important around water.  GFCIs detect and prevent dangerous situations where an electric shock could occur.


If you have older children who can understand electrical safety teach them about the dangers of water and electricity. Cell phones, especially plugged in ones, should not be used in the bathtub.  Hairdryers and other electrical hair equipment should be handled carefully around water - don't use the hairdryer while turning on or using the water faucet.

Another issue that older kids should know about is sleeping with a cell phone under their pillow, especially while plugged in and charging.  Cell phone batteries generate heat and sleeping with it under a pillow could potentially cause a fire.

And, as always, for any type of electrical issue, call Peter Needham.  He is available 24/7!

781.396.4800
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